Archive for the ‘Family and Friends’ Category

R.I.P. dad

Monday, November 6th, 2017

Norman Burke fell asleep after breakfast and could not be roused for his afternoon meds. He passed away before dinner, peacefully in his sleep.

Krav Maga Class 116: Saranya quits BJJ, epic warmup, epic tombstone punching, bob and counter, epic sparring, plank bananas to the end

Saturday, October 14th, 2017

Today was the day that Saranya quit BJJ. I am disappoint.

Curtis’ Saturday morning class started with running. And more running. It felt like NASCAR. I was getting dizzy. We phased into shoulder tag, alternating with different exercises.

Once that was over, we partnered up and grabbed a tombstone pad. We did three rounds of straight punches or palm strikes alternating with flurries of the same. I paired with Eric Maas and we explored the limits of his cardio. We also discovered that my palm strikes are a lot harder than my punches, because I don’t need to stabilize my wrist or align my knuckles for palm strikes.

After we were both worn out, we got focus mitts and practiced bobbing under a right hook, then added a left hook counter, until we were almost dead.

Then we put on headgear and got down to sparring. 40-50% power. I started against Eric, and we both knocked each other’s heads around a bit. Then I paired up with Ray, and he got a lecture from Curtis about not just playing tag, but landing solid punches. After that I went against Calvin, Daniel, Richard, and Ivan. Saranya said I did pretty good, and against the smaller and less experienced guys, I did. However, I got chewed up by Eric and Ivan. I was able to hold my own against Eric for some of the time, but Ivan’s a lot better than me, and he staggered me with a body shot as I was getting too aggressive.

Dad – the new resident dependent

Sunday, September 10th, 2017

My dad has come to live at my house. He can’t take care of himself, so someone else has to do it. That “someone else” turns out to be me, right now. He can’t afford boarding care until he can get rental income from his house, and he can’t rent his house until we clean it up and clear it out. In the mean time, he’s living in my house, sleeping in Saranya’s bed, slowly learning the names of the people who live here, and requiring my assistance at random times. That leaves me unable to concentrate on anything for more than a few minutes. I’m always on edge, and nothing is fun. Constant stress.

Our weekends will be spent cleaning and emptying his house. There is so much urgency to this task. Maybe it will lessen as we hire some nursing assistance, but so far that’s prohibitively expensive. Sangeeta seems to like having him here, but that’s because she isn’t responsible for taking care of him 24/7 like I am. I’m sure he likes it better here than in a nursing facility, so we’ll see if we can swing it. Maybe a day nurse will be sufficient assistance to get us back to a manageable state.

We’ll see.

At least the crud I took home from GENCON is finally fading.

GENCON 50

Monday, August 21st, 2017

I flew out to Indy to hang out with Castor for GENCON 50!

The flight out was nice. Direct on Southwest. I spent most of the time writing my thoughts on improvements to our sequencing algorithm to better take into account the information we have regarding the user’s learning strength for a particular item.

Castor’s house was in a state of renovation. Wet paint and no mirror in the guest bathroom, so I ended up showering in Castor’s shower for all but the last day.

GENCON was fun. On Thursday we wandered the vendor floor before finding our game, which was a RPG based on the old City of Heroes MMO. It was fun. I was “Tech Support” the tech tank. Whenever I entered a battle, I yelled “Tech Support is here. What is your Customer Identification Number?” and they’d all try to attack me. It was funny.

Friday was a free day. We again wandered the vendor floor, ate some Island Noodles, and in the evening we went to Castor’s boss’ house (Matt) for their regular Pathfinder campaign. I played a mercenary named Cevalla who was formerly a caravan guard but was laid off once the caravan hit town. The first couple hours were an exercise in shopping and trivia, and I was stunned by the lack of wisdom on display. My proudest moment was when I cracked a situational joke in character that cracked up the entire table. That felt good.

First thing Saturday morning, we went to another Pathfinder game. This one was an advanced Legends of the Shining Jewel campaign that we were definitely not qualified for, so they redirected us to the noob table, let us choose a premade level 1 character, and set us off to save the beer festival at the town of Brexton. It was simple and easy. We took more damage from our 2nd level fighter’s critical fumbles than we did from the enemy.

The rest of Saturday was spent shopping for stuff. Then we went home and I talked with Sangeeta, and she made me feel horrible. I didn’t want to go home to that tempest of chaos and pain.

Sunday was just a shopping day. Got coffee in the morning and felt so much better. My optimism returned. We left early and stopped by an authentic Mexican restaurant for lunch, complete with shrink wrapped TVs blasting Ranchero Pop, a bunch of shouting dirty local Mexican workers, an adjacent carniceria, and a real crawly cockroach crawling on the bar. We went back to Castor’s place and ended the day with a Dungeon Crawl board game, which Carla won (of course).

I left Castor’s house on Monday morning, had a moderately leisurely breakfast, made a quick stop at Starbucks for a coffee, spent a bit of time in traffic on the way to the airport, spent 20 minutes to check my suitcase, 15 minutes to get through security, and missed my flight by one minute.

Brandon vs Road Rage

Thursday, July 20th, 2017

I remembered a part of a dream I had last night. The snippet started after Brandon had been the victim of an aggressive driver on the street. Some guy had done something dangerous and had acted like Brandon was intentionally messing with him by using the street. Anyway, the guy stops at the next traffic signal and Brandon pulls up next to him, parks his car, gets out, and goes over to this guy’s car. Brandon opens the door and pulls the guy out onto the ground. The guy’s a short thin man with wavy light brown hair and a beard. Brandon is huge, weighing in north of 300 lbs, and a trained self defense instructor. Anyway, Brandon carefully drags the guy out and onto the hot pavement, where the guy ends up lying with his legs under his own car and his seat belt wrapped around his neck. Brandon calmly sits in his driver’s chair, secures the guy’s car so it won’t roll off, puts his foot on the guy’s chest, and calmly starts to explain to him that his behavior is unacceptable and that it could have dire consequences.

I was very impressed with Brandon’s calm, gentle violence and teaching method. Even though the guy he taught isn’t a real person, and I would never be able to pull off that maneuver, I bet it would go over well in a movie.

Today’s inspirational poster

Monday, July 10th, 2017

805BJJ Class 76: reverse shrimp to escape side control bottom to turtle, with immediate knee tap takedown/pass, judo foot sweeps to arm bar

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

After KM109 I changed (with sore toe and all) and jumped into the running around backward line of the BJJ class that TJ was warming up. We then spread out and did the hula hoop and arm circles and such, then did shrimping.

Coach Mark interrupted the class after that to show us why we do cross over shrimping at all. It lets you ratchet out from under side control, get to turtle, and push through to the far knee to get a takedown.

Then we practiced judo foot sweeps, going backward and then going sideways. The sideways version we also learned to end with an arm bar. I hurt my toes twice on that crap. Then I quit and went home in shame.

Krav Maga Class 109: thai pad combos with kicks and sprawls, boxing sparring, front kick only, intense pain, inside defenses with counter

Saturday, July 1st, 2017

Brandon’s class started just as we got there. Saranya’s BJJ class started late too, thank goodness. Class started with 2 straight minutes of jumping jacks while Brandon figured out the sound system. Then it was a quick warm up circuit before shoulder tag (I jammed my thumb) and the kicking combo game (Ray and I got to 9, the lowest in the class).

Next was thai pads and boxing gloves. We did 1-4 combos followed by a kick, then 1-4 combos followed by a sprawl. Then we did boxing sparring for a couple rounds, then we did the same with one puncher and one who could only do a front kick. The last round I went to kick Dave and he blocked with his forearm and my toe went straight into it, jamming it and dropping me to my knees. It was very painful.

Last was defense/attack combos against straight punches. I did not do great.

805BJJ Class 73: arm pit and sleeve control to arm bar or back take or lapel control sweep and submit

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Jumped on the mat after KM108 just in time for shrimping and rolls and fall breaks. I did well at those. Then Christian carried Saranya to the mat, and we got to the lesson, which started with a review of Wednesday night’s class, which was also reviewed on Thursday morning. A tight grip on the cross gi armpit gives you a lot of control over the shoulder and upper arm. From there, it’s relatively easy to lock up an arm bar or get to the back.

We also learned that you can feed the opponent’s gi around their arm, punch through to get an overhand grip to wrap the gi around their upper arm and pull it across their body, then scoot around like you’re taking the back. Get on your elbow and feed that gi tail to your other hand, then sit back with it and roll them over, finishing with your choice of choke or arm bar.

Saranya and I left before rolling. Good thing I did, because after I got home I got so stiff and sore that I was getting angry and panicked. I took a 2 hour nap and that helped a lot.

Krav Maga Class 108: shadow boxing, belt running, focus mitts, level 1+2 chokes, carotid choke defense, bear hug with lift defense, choke against the outside wall defenses

Saturday, June 24th, 2017

Pam’s Saturday morning class started with her complimenting me on my carry-fold of my BJJ gi. Then we got into shadow boxing mixed with jumping jacks, push ups, squats, sprawls, and sit ups. After that we paired up and our partners pulled us back using a belt around our waists while we sprinted across the mat and side-shuffled back for 2 minutes each. It was exhausting! The clock felt broken.

That done, we did a couple rounds of focus mitts. Combos 1-5 and then the same with a quick double jab cross added to the end. I did alright. Hardest part was holding pads for Scott, and that went okay too.

After that we did a one-in skill drill where we slowly and deliberately defended with all the level 1 and 2 chokes, bear hugs, etc. I did remarkably alright, with a few hiccups from rust. After everyone got their two minutes, we got further instruction on the carotid choke defense, as well as the bear hug from behind with a lift. Pam thought it was an orange belt technique, but I thought it was green belt. Anyway, it was the first time I’d seen the technique taught outside youtube in all my Krav Maga training. I just checked the green belt curriculum and yes indeed there it is! IN YOUR FACE PAM! ;P

Anyway, after that we went to the back alley where we did choke defenses while being pushed against the wall. On stucco. Fun! Then we did a drill where one half of the class would spin with eyes closed, and the other half would administer chokes (front or back) and the spinner would have to do the defense.

In the middle of this, I was called to see the kids’ class, where Saranya got her first stripe on her yellow belt.